Slone Partners Recruits Chief Medical Officer for Carisma Therapeutics

May 16, 2024 – Chief medical officers are typically cited as the senior government official designated head of medical services, sometimes at the national level. The post is held by a physician who advises and leads a team of medical experts on matters of public health importance. According to recruiters, the role of the chief medical officer has evolved in recent years, and organizations are looking for leaders with broader skill-sets. This has kept executive search firms busy in recent months. Life sciences-focused search firm Slone Partners recently placed Eugene P. Kennedy as chief medical officer at Carisma Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies.

“Dr. Kennedy is a highly accomplished and respected physician, healthcare executive, and thought leader with extraordinary vision and passion and a history of driving successful new ventures across various therapeutic areas,” said Jennifer Lemasters, senior vice president, executive search, and partner at Slone Partners. “He comes to Carisma at an exciting time in its evolution and will be a tremendous addition to its leadership team.”

“On behalf of Carisma, I am delighted to welcome Gene to our team,” said Steven Kelly, president and CEO of Carisma. “With his extensive expertise in oncology and a proven track record in designing and executing clinical trials for solid tumors, Dr. Kennedy brings invaluable insights to our organization that should immediately have a positive impact. We are excited to add his leadership to our organization to build on the momentum in our clinical program and to help advance our pipeline to deliver innovative treatments to patients.”

Dr. Kennedy brings more than 15 years of clinical and industry experience to Carisma, including cross-functional leadership driving clinical development and regulatory strategies for oncology and immuno-oncology focused organizations. He most recently served as chief medical officer at Galera Therapeutics, where he oversaw the development of the company’s radiotherapy in cancer. Prior to that, Dr. Kennedy served as chief medical officer at Innovative Cellular Therapeutics, where he played a critical role in developing the Phase 1 clinical protocol and securing a first-in-human IND for a solid tumor CAR T-cell therapy. Previously, he served as chief medical officer at Lumos Pharma and NewLink Genetics. Earlier in his career, Dr. Kennedy served as associate professor of Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University and held various leadership positions at the Jefferson Pancreas, Biliary & Related Cancers Center. Dr. Kennedy has also practiced, taught, and held leadership roles at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Louisiana State University.

In his new position with Carisma, Dr. Kennedy will be responsible for overseeing Carisma’s clinical development, regulatory, and medical affairs functions. “Throughout my career, I have always been driven to seek out new modalities with the potential to profoundly impact patients’ lives, and Carisma represents an extraordinary opportunity for me to fulfill this mission,” said Dr. Kennedy.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Carisma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on utilizing its proprietary macrophage and monocyte cell engineering platform to develop transformative immunotherapies to treat cancer and other serious diseases.

Top 50 Healthcare & Life Sciences Search Firm

Slone Partners is a nationally recognized senior-level recruitment provider that specializes in delivering executive, management, and leadership talent for the diagnostic, biopharmaceutical, healthcare information technology, and laboratory testing industries. The firm has offices in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Recently, Slone Partners was included among Hunt Scanlon Media’s “Top 50 Healthcare & Life Sciences Search Firms.”

Related: Slone Partners Recruits CEO for ONI

In 2000, Adam Slone founded Slone Partners and acted as CEO from 2000 to 2016. He remains chairman today. His industry knowledge and extensive contacts have enabled Slone Partners to place thousands of executives and industry professionals. Today, Mr. Slone remains engaged with Slone Partners, with a specific focus in strategy, finance, M&A advisement, and business development in Boston and California.

Leslie Loveless has nearly 20 years of healthcare industry and executive search experience to Slone Partners. She joined the firm in 2007, became COO in 2014 and CEO in 2016. At Slone Partners, Ms. Loveless acts as the leader of the organization as well as the head of the executive search team. Her involvement with clients and candidates enables her to understand the key motivations of each. As CEO, Ms. Loveless’ focus extends to cultivating new business partnerships and expanding relationships with existing clients. Through her leadership, life sciences and biotechnology have emerged as the primary client base for Slone Partners.

Ms. Lemasters delivers a range of talent to clients, whether it’s a board member, C-level, or VP-level leader. She is experienced in placing executives and leaders in all functional areas and disciplines, including operations, finance, commercial, clinical, and technical. Prior to joining Slone Partners in 2011, Ms. Lemasters spent a decade in information technology training where she hired and led teams, before transitioning into the diagnostics industry.

Related: Slone Partners Finds Chief Medical Officer for X4 Pharmaceuticals

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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